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Lincoln Park junior Emma Seslowsky quit Facebook cold-turkey for a week and lived to write about it. MASH PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

By Emma Seslowsky
Lincoln Park

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ll know that I’m—for lack of a better word—addicted. When presented with a challenge of going a whole week without Facebook, I was nervous. How would I talk to my friends who live far away? How would I let people know what I was doing? How would I keep track of assignments for school?

Little did I know that as the week went on, it would become easier and easier to stay off of Facebook. Sure, I was glad to sign back on at the end of the week, but I learned that there are plenty of methods of communication that I can use other than Facebook. I recommend taking a weeklong break to other Facebook-a-holics. Especially during finals, around big tests and just to take a break, signing out of Facebook for a while might be just what you need.

Day 1
I started out with making a Facebook status notifying people of my absence and logged out on my phone. The great thing about iPhones is that there are real time notifications every time you get a notification on Facebook. At the same time, it’s distracting. Without this constant reminder of notifications, the day was surprisingly manageable.

It was easier to pay attention in class without the faint buzz of my phone notifying me about a wall post from the depths of my backpack. A friend texted me to check out something on Facebook, a sorrowful reminder that it was something I couldn’t have. I told her to send it to me through text, which she did! To think, I ended up seeing the picture my friend wanted to show me without even going on Facebook. It was an awesome achievement.

Facebook is still my homepage on my computer, so as soon as I came home from school and flipped open my laptop, there it was. I saw the glimmer of red notifications out of the corner of my eye and immediately closed the page. Of course, the Facebook-a-holic in me is brooding over these mysterious notifications, but I’ll have to stick it out for another six days. If someone seriously needs to get in contact with me, they can call … or tweet, Instagram or even Snapchat! Who knows how I’d be taking this Facebook break without any of those. Maybe I’ll finally get some homework done for once!

UPDATE: It’s currently 6:30 p.m. and I’m freaking out.

Day 2
Today was slightly better! I usually use Facebook to communicate with the glee club at my school, so to get around that, I contacted my friend who’s in the club to post on my behalf. It was as simple as that!

Of course, it’s weird to not be in the typical routine of going on Facebook as soon as I get home from school, but it’s allowed me to develop other obsessions. To compensate for my lack of one social network, I’ve been very active on the others. I’ve also been discovering new apps. I’ve noticed my phone battery lasts longer throughout the day.

Also, I’m more inclined to talk to someone in person or text them, which is far more personal than writing on a wall or even chatting on the Internet. I hope that when my diet is over and I’m “allowed” on Facebook again, I can learn how to limit my use of it. I’m starting to feel strangely refreshed!

Day 3
I’m still going strong. I’m easily communicating with my glee club through texting another member who posts on the Facebook wall on my behalf. I’ve realized I’m truly not missing out on much at all. Homework has been getting completed faster and there is one less distraction around me. My generation suffers from FOMO (fear of missing out) because of the access we have to everyone else’s lives online and comparing them with our own lives. This fear is almost completely eliminated without Facebook, without seeing pictures of parties, social gatherings and dinners on your news feed. Without knowing what you missed out on, the fear is gone.

Day 7
I’m proud to say that I’ve come so far! I’ve learned to adapt without Facebook and investigate different means of communication. I’ve learned it’s not important to publish what you’re doing or figure out what everyone else is doing every second. The main thing that I’ll take away from this is that Facebook, while entertaining and typically a part of my daily life, isn’t as important as I once thought. I found myself starting to not even care what people were up to. Although I did have the occasional urge to log in, I’m proud to say I didn’t cheat once. I’ll definitely use Facebook again, but I’m going to make a serious effort to limit my activity from now on.

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About The Mash

Maura Wall Hernandez is digital editor of The Mash.

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